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call... and lock in your rate for 12 months today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? captured in one photo. take a look at this. this is a picture of a baby reaching out of her mother's womb to hold the finger of a tkpr. she was performing a c section when the hand reached out for his, and it was the dad that snapped the photo. they named the baby heaven spelled backwards. the photo has gone viral with more than 10 million views online. now time for the "the situation room" and wolf
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blitzer. >> happening now. >> this was the speaker's decision. he is alone. i called the speaker four times last night after 11:20, and he did not take my calls. >> a blistering attack on the house speaker, john boehner, from a rising star in his own party. up next, why his republicans failed to vote on a $60 billion aid package to sandy victims and why they are scrambling now to make it right. and then averting the fiscal cliff. we are going live to wall street for an update. paul ryan says, quote, wasn't afraid to vote yes on the fiscal cliff deal. could that be a sign for 2016? i am wolf blitzer, and you are in the "the situation room."
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if the gop house of representatives thought they were feeling the heat for the fiscal cliff, they did but it may have been nothing compared to what they are feeling now. the bite bg backlash coming from prominent members of their own party, they are blasting last night's decision to end the 112th congress without approving a $60 billion aid package for the thousands of victims still suffering from the super storm sandy. leading the charge, a rising star in the party, and a possible 2016 presidential contender, the new jersey governor, chris christie. >> i will not in the specifics with what i discussed with john boehner today, but there is no reason for me at the moment to believe anything they tell me because they have been telling me stuff for weeks, and they
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didn't deliver. 66 days and counting. shame on you. shame on congress. >> our senior congressional correspondent, dana bash, is on capitol hill. there has been dramatic moves in the last few minutes or so. what is the latest? >> reporter: the latest is within the past hour from the speaker's office, down the hall behind me, he met with members of the delegation who were angry and promised them there would be a series of votes to get people in sandy-stricken areas the federal money. $9 billion this friday, that will be the vote. and when the new congress has the first legislative day on january 15th, $51 billion. so republicans were very appeased and certainly happy. listen to peter king of new york. >> it was his decision and we disagreed with it and made it clear last night and that's in
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the past. all i care about is my constituents and the constituents in new york and new jersey devastated and clearly the speaker responded and that's all. i take him out his word, and him and the majority leader are both in full agreement. >> reporter: what about the anger being voiced at the house speaker? he said that was a lifetime ago. clearly trying to forgive and forget, but, wolf, it's hard to forget just how frankly vicious we heard republicans be and upset about the fact that the speaker pulled this bill. anger at the house speaker is palpable. >> i think it's inexcusable that we did not have this vote. >> reporter: and these are republicans. >> absurd! absolutely absurd! we demand nothing less than when have given the rest of the
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country. >> reporter: arguing $60 billion in aid for sandy relief is urgent. >> these dollars will not be squandered. i believe they are desperately needed at a time when many americans have lost hope. there is that opportunity for us to stand united together to provide that hope for the american public. >> reporter: republican outrage is personal and pointed at the house speaker for aabruptly canceling the vote in congress. >> the speaker, for some reason, is taking it out on new york and long island and new jersey and it's a disgrace. >> reporter: what did happen? >> eric cantor had promised a vote on the aid package before the lame duck session ended. >> the motion is adopted without objection to reconsider is laid on the table. >> reporter: but sources tell cnn right after the toxic fiscal cliff vote the house speak joern
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cliff vote the house speak joe n janua yanked the bill. >> reporter: the reason? cnn told the speaker he worried it was bad internal politics for him to allow a vote on $60 million after a long day of getting pommelled for spending. >> on a political chest board of politics our people were played last night as a pawn. >> i called the speaker four times last night after 11:20 and he did not take my calls. it is why the american people hate congress. it's why they hate them. >> reporter: and this meeting that just wrapped up really lasted a short time, maybe 20 minutes tops, wolf. it was clear that the house speaker knew he had to clean it up and clean it up fast and he
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had a plan ready to go to take the votes to reassure the republicans that were devastated by sandy. >> do you have doubt john boehner will be the speaker of the house? >> reporter: when it comes to these republicans who were clearly very angry, i asked one michael graham said that he would abstain and not vote. he said he changed his mind after this meeting, after he got a personal reassurance and promise from the speaker that he is going to make good on this money for new york and new jersey and other areas. there are probably a handful of republicans here from the areas and all of them said they would support the speaker, and i asked them pointblank. whether or not there will be other challenges or symbolic moves to make clear maybe some people are unhappy with him,
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that is to be determined. we will see whether any of that happens when the vote does take place that will happen sometime after the new congress convenes tomorrow. >> peter will be joining us live in a few minutes here in "the situation room." our own mary snow has been out on staten island and is getting a first-hand reaction from some of the storm victims. mary is joining us with this part of the storm. what are you seeing, mary? >> reporter: wolf, anger is an underestimate. you remember they were so hard hit, and you look behind me there's so much work still to be done. residents saying this is disgraceful and they are questioning why congress was able to pass emergency aid for victims of hurricane katrina within days but just more than two months after super storm sandy hit, new york and new jersey are still waiting for money.
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nine weeks after super storm sandy, 76-year-old frank relies on the red cross for meals. just this week he was able to return to his home on staten island. >> water was coming through the walls, through the brick! >> reporter: he shows us photos of his house that needed to be gutted, and he is grateful to be back home but he is furious for house republicans for failing to vote on the aid package to help the sandy victims. what would you say to lawmakers? >> all of you stink. you have no compassion, and you don't have blood in your veins, you have ice cubes. >> reporter: while he has returned home many people on his block haven't because of the extensive damage and he worries about whether they will come back. >> i cried for two weeks when i lost this house. if i could cry again i would cry
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again. i have no use for them in washington. i have friends on the block here that lost more than me and they are living in shelters. >> reporter: this area of staten island was so hard hit that president obama visited with city and state officials back in november. in fact he was down the street from the home that was destroyed here. and he spends his days trying to salvage what he can as he waits for the insurance money and he remembers the president's promise to never forget, but he says he is a realist. >> it's all politics. everything is politics. and, you know, look out here right now, everybody left. there is only like a couple agencies just hanging around. but in two more months there will be nobody here and all of the houses will be vacant and gutted and waiting for help. >> reporter: wolf, just to give you an idea of the damage done on staten island just one of the five boroughs in new york city,
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i spoke to the head of project haus pa hospitality, she says there have been 9,000 families in the borough alone that have been displaced. >> are people getting real help or just getting promised? >> reporter: they have credited fema, they have gotten money from fema and they said that was quick, but they said it's just not enough. the one man we talked to, frank, he said that he received nearly $32,000 from fema, but he said the damage to his house is much more than that and he has been paying for those repairs out of his pocket, and he said some of the other residents on his block don't have the money and that's why they are not back. >> our hearts go out to them. mary snow, thank you. divide and conquer, a
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it's very good breaking news. hillary clinton, the second of state of the united states has now left the hospital. we have the video to show you. her husband, the former president of the united states was there, bill clinton, and chelsea clinton, there you see the pictures coming in. you see hillary clinton in the sunglasses with chelsea. they walk the odd and got into
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the van, and former president clinton with a big smile, and he will get into the armored vehicle as well. bill and hillary clinton, they are all going home. you see the secretary's long-time aide is getting into the van as well. the secretary has been in the hospital now for about four days, as you know. in recent weeks she has been ill, she suffered a major stomach flu and was dehydrated, fell, fainted, and as a result she had a concussion and all of a sudden over the weekend she is -- there she is walking out with the sunglasses on and her doctors following. the secretary had a concussion, and then in the past few days we learned she had a blood clot in her head between her brain and skull, not far behind her right ear. she has now been on blood thinners, and the good news is she is leaving the hospital and i assume she will be cooperating at home for a while before she
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gets back to work. earlier in the day, the spokeswoman over at the state department did say that she has actually been on the phone talking to members of her staff, slowly but surely getting back into action. she is supposed to be the secretary of state for a few more weeks. she wanted to leave by january 20th when the president is going to be inaugurated for a second term. let's see what happens on that front. let's see if she is physically able to testify before congress on the whole benghazi attack that killed the u.s. ambassador and three others. the good news is she is out of the hospital heading home in new york and there, once again, you see the picture of her leaving new york presbyterian hospital with her husband and daughter. let's get reaction, peter king, the congressman from new york is joining us and we have other subjects to talk about. i assume you are pleased she is out of the hospital and well enough to go home? >> that's really good news. she is a good friend and an outstanding u.s. senator and
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great job as secretary of state, and she is a strong and tough woman. i am not surprised she is out, but i am surprised she was in the hospital at all because she is one of the most durable people i have ever met. good people. and she deserves a little rest and relaxation, and who knows when we will see her again? >> and she was the new york senator from new york state, your home state, before she was the secretary of state. quickly, you still think that she needs to go up before congress and testify on what happened in benghazi? >> yeah, i think she does and i think she will be pleased to do it. i never have known hillary clinton to back away from a fight, and sometimes we agree and sometimes we disagree and i never have seen her back away from anybody and shy away, and i think she realizes it's better for her to get it over with and get it out there, and if she plans to running in 2016, and if
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she doesn't, this is still her legacy and i think she will come in and do a good job. >> let's hope that she is physically able to do all of that. the most important thing is she has to cooperate -- >> i wouldn't expect her to testify at all until she is absolutely in perfect health. >> yeah, me either. >> congressman, let's talk about what is going on, the victims of hurricane sandy. you just saw mary snow and her report from new york. they are outraged -- you are outraged that the speaker last night decided to pull the legislation off the table and not let a vote come up and as a result you have to wait for funds to come in to help these victims, but now you have emerged from a meeting with the speaker and the majority leader, and members of your own party saying you have gotten reassurance that they will do the right thing. tell us exactly what they promised you. >> obviously i strongly disagreed with the speaker's decision last evening. i made that clear.
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but today at the meeting held at 3:00 in the speaker's office, john boehner and eric cantor said this will be the first priority, that on friday morning, the first vote will be a $9 billion infusion into the federal insurance fund, and the insurance fund, a $9 billion vote on friday morning. on january 15th, which is the first legislative day, we will vote on the remaining $51 billion, which is required, we believe for new york, new jersey and connecticut, and that will be $51 billion on january 15th. that will be brought to the floor. no question about it being brought to the floor and it will be up for vote and i am confident we can get the votes, and it doesn't happen yesterday for reasons behind us, and what we asked for we got and i am
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pleased with that. >> i know you will get a lot of democrats that will support you on this $60 billion. the question has been republicans, whether there will be a majority of the republican caucus, the majority of the majority to support it in the past, and speakers have been reluctant to bring up something something they wouldn't get a majority of their own party behind. did you get a commitment from the speaker, this will come up even if he doesn't have a majority of the republican caucus onboard? >> i asked the speaker that specific question, and the answer i got this will come up on the floor no matter what for a vote, and the first one will be for $18 billion, and that's -- $9 billion on friday, and $18 billion on monday the 15th, and after that there will be another amendment for $33 billion adding up to 60. we vote on it separately and then they will merge. no question the $18 billion will
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pass, and the $33 billion i am confident it will pass. we had more than enough votes last night, and we expect all the democrats to vote for it. i have no doubt if we do our work we will have the votes. >> you were furious earlier in the day over what you saw as a betrayal, a stab in the back, if you will, by your own leadership. i will play a little clip of what you saw on cnn earlier in the day. >> these people have no problem finding new york, these republicans, when they are trying to raise money. they raise millions in new york and new jersey, and i am saying anybody from new york and new jersey who contributes one penny to the republican congressional campaign committee should have their head examined. >> that was a few hours ago and do you want to resize and amend the words? >> yeah, a lot has changed. bottom line is we received what we asked for, and as far as i am concerned what is done is done.
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i always considered john boehner a friend and i said it today which made it more painful to me to say what i had to say and i owed it to my constituents, and i did feel new york in a number of cases was being taken advantage of. and that's behind it. the speaker has made a commitment and that commitment will be followed through, i know it will, and things are back to where they are. i did what i had to do i strongly believed i had to do it and we got the result we wanted and i give the speaker and majority leader credit for that and it's time to go forward. >> a lot of your fellow republicans who will vote against the money say, you know what, go ahead, appropriate the funds but cut spending elsewhere to pay for the funds. $60 billion, a lot of money. that whole tax increase that was affectively approved by the congress as part of the fiscal cliff legislation, people earning over 400 or $450,000 a
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year, and that brings additional revenue about the irs, and sit important that $60 billion help the victims of super storm victims be paid for or should there be spending cuts elsewhere? >> it should not be offset. when it comes to an emergency, katrina is the main example, we never required an offset. this is a natural disaster, an emergency. the money is appropriated and it's not offset. we have never done it before and we should not do it now and it's not going to be done now. this money will be appropriated as emergency spending, and it's absolutely required that it be appropriated, and it's never been required to be offset before and it shouldn't be now and it won't be. >> congressman peter king of new york, thank you very much for coming in. >> thank you very much. >> i suspect we will be talking about this down the road a little bit more, and we will see if the entire $60 billion is appropriated or not and we have a few weeks to discuss it and in the meantime let's home the
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folks, the victims of super storm sandy get relief because they need it and need it badly. >> it helps me to go home and look people in the eye right now, because many people in my neighborhood are homeless right now. >> you were blistering in your comments this morning, and chris christi, i never heard him blast fellow republicans like he did earlier in the day. >> at 1:00 in the morning i got a call from chris christi, and i got a preview this morning as to what chris christi was going to say today. he was definitely charged up. thank god he did what he had to do and now we go forward. >> one final question, quickly if you can give me an answer, did the speaker explain to you and your colleagues why he pulled it from consideration last night? >> basically he said that there was so much confusion, and there was so much fighting and discussion going on over the fiscal cliff bill, he felt to bring it up in that context would have been damaging to the republican conference, and it
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was not the right time to bring it up. obviously i disagreed with that and he is the speaker and to me what counts is now it's being addressed and that's really the most important thing. >> peter king as the chairman of the house homeland security security, the republican congressman from long island, a lot of work ahead of him in congress. >> thank you. while some politicians were casting their vote on the fiscal cliff, they might have been thinking about votes that may not be casts for four more years.
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the dramatic last-minute house vote on a deal to avert the fiscal cliff revealed stunning divide. 85 republicans were among the 257 lawmakers to vote for the bill. among them the house budget committee chairman and former vice presidential nominee, paul ryan and also the house speaker, john boehner, who broke tradition to actually cast a vote. his number two and three, eric cantor and kevin mccarthy both voted against the bill and this took place after-hours in limbo while republicans considered to bring up the bill for a final
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vote. joining us to break it down, our cnn contributor, the washington correspondent for "the new yorker" magazine. hillary clinton, we saw her leaving the hospital with her husband and daughter, and getting into the van there. you will see her right there in the sunglasses with chelsea clinton, and bill clinton walking around the other side, and her doctor there in the white coat. i guess that's great news that she is good enough to leave the hospital after four days inside with a blood clot in her head. >> i hope so. i hope it's what it looks like, that she has actually been discharged. it seems like the state department as far as i know, wolf, is not confirming that yet. so they have been a little opaque through the process and i think we will have to wait and see exactly what is going on here, if she's -- if there is some other reason she is seen
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leaving getting in the car, or if this is the news we all hope it is that she is ready to go home. >> well, i was going to say we see bill clinton smiling there, so i assume -- >> exactly. he looked like it was good news, and looking awfully dashing in that jacket, i might add. >> i have been e-mailing people to find out if she was going to westchester where they have a home or going someplace for another test, who knows what is going on, and we will watch it and monitor and see what is going on. let's talk politics. the fallout from the fiscal cliff legislation. do you remember a time when there has been such a split within the top leadership of the republicans in the house of representatives on a specific vote? >> well, you know, cantor and boehner have a bit of a roller coaster of a relationship. so you know, cantor became the number two in 2009 and 2009, 2010, they sort of harmoniously
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worked together in opposing obama and the trouble really started after the 2010 elections when republicans took over the house, and you started to see a little bit of division in the way that boehner and cantor wanted to lead the gop conference. the real breaking points or the staurlt of the tension was when eric cantor in 2011 was negotiating with vice president biden over the fiscal issues and he learned that boehner had been secretly meeting with obama in a set of parallel discussions, and cantor felt blindsided by that, and that started palace intrigue that lasted through much of 2011 where boehner and cantor were not on the same page in resolving the budget issues and cantor felt boehner was going too far in the negotiations with president obama and cantor was joined by paul ryan, the head of
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the budget committee, and in opposing boehner's attempt to reach a deal with obama. fast-forward a fu months, wolf, into 2012, and the boehner and cantor relationship seems to be just fine up until the election and through the last few weeks, until yesterday when for the first time we see a public break and the two top republicans in the house casting separate votes on one of the most important pieces of legislation we have seen in a long time, and as you know, wolf, boehnerdid not have to vote for that bill. the speaker of the house generally does not vote, and they do it when they want to make a point, for instance, nancy pelosi voted for the health care reform bill because she wanted to make a point that she was in favor of it, and society fact that boehner knew cantor was against it and voted for it tells me he was trying to send a message to us and to his conference about the stakes involved there. >> yesterday when eric cantor
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came out and publicly told everybody he doesn't like the senate-passed legislation, he thought it was bad and would vote against it, that almost created the end of the entire process to avert that so-called fiscal cliff, but in the end apparently eric cantor did not have the 217 votes that would be necessary to pass that kind of amendment that would effectively derailed the whole process. jane boehner clearly came out on front on this issue and got a lopsided majority in the house, even though he got the majority in the republican caucus. >> nobody has taken more abuse in the last few days than poor john boehner. he has a tough job. you have to give him some credit for how he dealt with this yesterday. he basically went to his conference and said -- and dared them to vote for the version of the legislation that he essentially hinted would blow up the whole deal. and when faced with that
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decision, his conference, the tea party faction, the conservatives that have not been willing to sign off on some of the fiscal deals, they backed down. at the end of the day, they did not support the revised version of the senate bill and allowed the clean senate bill to come up and allow john boehner to have a victory in passing this legislation. so boehner has got a very tough difficult conference and he is not a super empowered leader so you have to give him a bit of credit for how he handled the situation yesterday and finally got that piece of legislation passed the finish line and put an explanation point on the whole thing by voting in favor of it, and to me, at least, sending a message to his more intransit members saying this is a more responsible thing to do. >> let's see what happens tomorrow after the new congress is sworn in. i assume he will remain speaker of the house, but let's wait and see. >> i think he is. >> i think so as well.
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thank you very much, ryan. wall street is surging into the new year on the news of the last-minute fiscal deal. the dow closing up more than 300 points in the first day of trading for 2013. let's go to alison kosik who is over at the stock exchange with the latest numbers. big day on wall street, alison? >> yeah, you know what the question is? how long will the good feeling last? one trader i spoke with said he thinks we will see the market move higher for the first couple months and then reality will set in by march, because it will have to deal with the triple whammy of spending cuts and the budget and the debt ceiling and the trader tells me the market and investors, they should enjoy the ride. after that another analyst tells me the lesson for investors is buyer beware. >> keep in perspective, alison, as i like to do that, 13,400
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number right now where the dow jones closed right now, 13,400, and remember in 2008 during the collapse and shortly after the president took officer, and it was under 7,000 the dow jones industrial, and the lowest point was around 6,500. and so if you take a look at the last four years, wall street has clearly been pretty happy with what they are seeing. >> yeah, the economy doesn't reflect what is going on in the market, and even with the fiscal cliff deal one analyst saying we may not go into a recession, but the cliff deal could knock off 1% of economic growth this year because what the deal doesn't do is address the longer term deficit issues of the country. look at the third quarter gdp that came up, and we are at 3.1%, and it's the best that we have seen, and if you knock off 1% that would barely keep up
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with inflation, and as we get closer to the showdown on capitol hill which could be in march and that could eat away at consumer and business con tpfi e confidence, and if these negotiations in march get chaotic, it could lead to another u.s. downgrade, so surrounding the debt celling and spending cuts, it could hurt the growth despite what we are seeing in wall street. >> who knows what is going to happen tomorrow or the day off. thank you very much. >> sure. remember what was known as t.a.r.p., that costs some republicans dearly when they wanted to run for president. and now some of the 2016 contenders were determined not to make that same mistake on the fiscal cliff. stand by.
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there may have been clear winners and losers of the dramatic race to deal with the fiscal cliff, and who they are could reveal some clues about 2016. our national political correspondent has been looking at this story. good to have you back after a few days off. >> a lot of people were watching this, wolf, as washington was peering over the cliff, and a few politicians may have been eyeing the horizon and how it could affected their run in 2016. paul ryan, the chairman of the house budget committee was nearly invisible in the run up to the fiscal cliff. ryan voted yes and slipped down to the capital chatting with cnn off camera.
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>> if you want a bill to pass, you should vote for it. >> why did you want it to pass? >> i am not afraid of anything, i think it needed to pass. >> taxes are going up on wealthier americans while the spending cuts were delayed. >> i think there will be consequences because, you know, people have been understanding and tolerant, but at the end of the day, how long can we continue down this path of spend and spend and spend some more? >> it's no surprise tea party activist are touting other possible 2016 candidates like florida senator, rubio who tweeted. he said if it uses tax increases to fund more spending. tea party favorite ran paul voted no with gusty. >> you may not get any more
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revenue and you may not get any more economic growth but you can say i stuck it to the rich people. >> the republicans voting yes may have caught a break. after congress missed the fiscal cliff deadline of december 31st, taxes went up on all americans so when the deal was approved on the 1st, well, listen to anti-tax sreus. >> we're cutting taxes. >> because the bush tax cuts expired yesterday? >> yes. >> what did you say? i'm sorry. >> i hope so. i think so. >> what about the democrats? vice president joe biden is back in the conversation for 2016 after a shout-out from the president. >> i want to thank all the leaders of the house and senate, in particular i want to thank the work that was done by my extraordinary vice president, joe biden. >> but there is one problem. the fiscal mess that is so big
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even deficit hawk simpson did the dance to draw attention to it isn't going anywhere. >> if we have not dealt with this before the election, 2016, nobody should want to have that job. the country will be in such bad shape. >> the fiscal cliff was just a preview of coming attractions, votes on the debt ceiling and the spending cuts and the fiscal cliff are just around the corner and they too could make or break political careers. >> and some of the politicians ahead, even a few years, divisions they make now they fully appreciate could have a huge impact. >> and they don't want to vote now that they have to explain later, and that's what happened in this process now, wolf. hillary clinton is no stranger to critics, but those that question who used her health as an excuse to dodge questions about benghazi are now
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facing their own scrutiny. she is now out of the hospital. there is the former president with her. we don't know where she was heading, but stand by and we're getting more information. ever. nurses are dealing with a wider range of issues. and there are ever-changing regulations. when you see these challenges, do you want to back away or take charge? with a degree in the field of healthcare or nursing from capella university,
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let's get to our strategy session right now, joining us two contributors, hilary rosen, and editor and chief of eric, if you are looking ahead and you are a republican to 2016, did marco rubio who voted against the fiscal cliff legislation, did he do the right thing in voting against it or did paul ryan do the right thing in voting in favor of the legislation? >> i think time will help. my guess is arubio will get ahead of paul ryan on this. i don't think one vote signifies much. he is one of less than a republicans that voted every bailout, and that will weigh on him along with his vote. >> hilary, you are a good
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political strategist, if you will, and these votes they make now, do they have a huge impact down the road? >> i think they do have an impact but i don't think that gets the gop very far. what we have seen, you know, in pass primaries is that the most ideological candidate has not succeeded out of the gop primaries and has not been elected president, and to the extent marco ruby yo was positioning him to be the unreasonable guy, that one guy that says no all the time, i don't think that helps him. >> what do you think, eric, of the blistering republican criticism of the speaker, john boehner, earlier in the day because he did not put the sandy relief legislation on the table last night? >> well, you know, it looks like it worked from chris christi and peter king and others. it looks like the votes are going to be scheduled now. i think it overshadowed a point about the sandy relief and i think every republican in favor
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of sandy relief, they are not in favor of using that measure to fund things in alaska and mississippi and missouri and michigan. >> you heard peter king tell me a little while ago, eric, he doesn't think the $60 billion should be offset by spending cuts elsewhere, that they should just appropriate the money to help the victims of the super storm sandy. do you agree with him on that? >> republicans have been through this argument before and they lose it every time. remember the earthquake and stuff in virginia, i guess a year or two ago when eric cancer suggested offsets, and republicans don't offset anything, and democrats want to raise taxes to pay for it. >> what do you think about all of this hilary? >> new york and new jersey deserve exactly what we have done for other states around the country, and peter king and chris christi are right to take on boehner. i heard shawn hannity earlier
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say this is boehner's last day as speaker because his caucus is going to get so frustrated, but things like the stock market rallying today and things like the country getting a bipartisan vote for the first time, those really ought to be the things that the gop caucus looks for when they elect their leadership. it makes no sense to me that they -- that republicans think that they are going to succeed by either driving the country over the fiscal cliff, by again denying people disaster relief that deserve it and to pay taxes to be sure that the government is going to be there for them. you have got this division in the gop caucus between kind of this radical increasingly increasingly out of touch, and we're going to see another test coming up again on whether they come up with gun control, and measures the country wants, and it makes no sense that the gop is just going further and further and further away from mainstream. >> and eric, do you want boehner
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to continue on as speaker? >> you know, i -- i would love for somebody to replace him, but who? there is nobody out there. he will stay on and i would rather him than eric cantor between them. i think the democrats will get a turn with what republicans went through on the debt ceiling and as more democrats say entitlements are not hurting the country fiscally, when all the studies say yes they are it will be interesting to see if the democrats can get their act together. >> that will be hard to take, spending cuts on entitlements, no question. >> you think boehner will be a better speaker than eric cantor. >> yes. >> oh, i absolutely think boehner is better than eric cantor, i don't trust cantor as far as i can throw him. >> why? >> for boehner to hold a press conference and say the reason republicans didn't vote for
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t.a.r.p. was because nancy pelosi did not say nice words about him, and at the last minute he himself turning against it. >> interesting stuff. guys, thank you very much. we will continue this conversation. >> thank you. other news we are following, new york police probably don't make many arrests for possessions of explosive in greenwich village, and that makes the latest plot they interrupted all the more bizarre. meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v, a hybrid that c-max also bests in mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid. as you can see, geico's customer satisfaction is at 97%.
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police have a couple in custody accused of possession of an explosive with intent to use. cnn's susan candiotti reports. >> reporter: it's not the kind of activity you would expect in an apartment in a posh section of manhattan, but when police raided the home they found explosive material called hmtd and chemicals used to make it, and along with two shotguns and a flare gun and high capacity magazines. >> it's extremely dangerous, and that's why the building was
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evacuated and other buildings were put on notice because of the ability of this to just go off at any given time. >> reporter: as shocking the suspects come from successful families. erin green's gather is a successful business owner and morgan's doctor is a well-known doctor where the two lived rent free. green's lawyer declined to comment. a law enforcement source says the two met in rehab and that her family believes green was the instigator. what happens to have been going on in the apartment? >> we are still trying to determine what was going on, but obviously the biggest cause for concern was the explosive. >> reporter: hmtd is a signature al qaeda bomb-making material. it was used successfully in the 2005 london subway bombing attack. and one plotter had trouble making it.
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>> it's a highly unstable bomb-making element and it's so unstable terrorists steer away from it because it's hard to handle and can easily go off. >> reporter: police were turned on to the suspects by a tip. the alleged bomb makers here invited a couple nearby to use the showers, and that's when suspect aaron green blew up a small amount of explosives right there in the apartment. law enforcement sources say the incident happened six weeks ago and authorities suspect the tipster might have been moved to call the police after the newtown shooting. did they have a beef against somebody or any writings? what are you trying to find out about them? >> precisely what you said. was there a target or a cause that they were adhering to, and
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what was the objective or the goal of having all of this information and this weaponry? >> again, the couple has not been charged in any kind of terror plot and for now new york police are trying to figure out how far the investigation will take them, but it sure is raising a lot of eye brow. aaron green has made a first court appearance and has not entered a plea and will appear in court later this week and the young woman in the case is still in the hospital after giving birth to a baby girl, so she has not made a first court appearance yet either. wolf, back to you. >> thank you, and we'll stay on top of this. the surprising choice of words the house speaker, john boehner, used with senate mar.
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-- captions by vitac -- you are in the "the situation room." happenihappeningp happenha, happenihappeningp happenh s hillary clinton walks out of the hospital where she waspfor a b more to thepwe have twe ha. ap and after the fi outraoutrage over somethin. >r >> nowp now,
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make amends. ra shockinp a shockina . the united nations says the deap death todeath toll the. > you are in the situation room. first, we are following the latest developments in hillary clinton's medical condition. a little while ago we saw the secretary of state walk out of the hospital in new york city where she has been treated for a blood clot in her head. she entered a van accompanied by her husband and daughter. she has the latest, jill. >> i wish i could tell you what
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is the latest because it has been a confusing afternoon. we know secretary hillary clinton did walk out of the hospital and she was looking pretty good and got into the van with her family but where she went we're not quite sure. now, officials that we are speaking with are indicating that, you know, she has not been released. they insist that she has not been released. if you put two and two together, that could mean that she is being taken to another location for testing or maybe another reason for moving her. but we do believe at least at this point that she has not been released. interesting, as you noted, wolf, there is a doctor or somebody, medical personnel in a white coat with her that would indicate something like perhaps a test. we have been trying to get clarification. we are not getting clarification. and i guess we will get back to you when we know exactly what happened. >> because it is intriguing, and
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you see them all getting into that van. we see her aide getting in behind the doctor, and i assume that's a doctor wearing the white jacket over there, and obviously we don't know where they are headed, if they are going to a different hospital, a different location in new york. it doesn't appear to be the case that she is actually heading to their home in westchester outside of new york city, but we're getting more information and we will follow that. earlier in the day we did hear from the state department spokeswoman saying she has been on the phone with members of her staff? >> yes, she has been on the phone with her staff, and she has been talking with her staff. saturday, actually before this blood clot was announced she was on the phone internationally to two leaders, one, you know, on syria -- actually both on syria. she has been very active. if you look at the video, she looks pretty good. she is walking and appears to be functioning normally.
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i think the question is, wolf, what are they doing, and what the testing is connected to and how well the blood thinners are working. that was the key. they said it would take a while to figure out the exact dose and it could be connected to another mri and see how things are going, and after all the whole idea is to shrink the blood clot in the vein between the brain and the skull. the whole idea, if they get the rice dose then we were told by her doctors in a statement on monday she could be released at that point. we will have to see what type of confirmation they have, and i think the good news is, the secretary in this video is looking pretty good. >> well, at least she walked out. she was wearing sunglasses. she held on to the railing as she was walking down those stairs, and there you see her there. let's hope for the best and we wish her the best, of course. we will move on to other important news we are following.
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the smoke is clearing from the fiscal cliff fight in washington. the house speaker, john boehner, busy handling the fallout from angry republicans over the failure to vote on the super storm sandy relief package. and you may need to rest up for a bigger battle that could be happening over spending and that so-called debt ceiling, raising the debt ceiling. our white house correspondent is joining us from honolulu with more on what is going on. are you getting more information about the president's strategy? this was a huge fight averted last night but there are big battles coming in the coming weeks? >> reporter: the president is making it clear he does not want to negotiate on the debt ceiling and doesn't want a repeat of what we saw in the summer of 2011 where the president says the drawn out process has had a
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negative impact on the economic rur re, and the republicans are promising a fight and they want to see spending cuts in exchange for the cuts on spending. but the president delivers a stern warning. >> while i will negotiate over many things i will not another debate with this congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they already wracked up with the laws that they passed. >> the president says another debt ceiling debate would be worse than the fiscal cliff. the president, as he pointed out, here in hawaii on the first day back, part two of his vacation, the president went to the gym and on the gulf course and released a youtube video defending the deal. take a listen. >> every since i took office my
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preference was to reach a bigger agreement to balance the debt in a responsible way, and instead we are solving the problem in several steps. >> reporter: what is still unclear is how or when the president will sign that fiscal cliff deal. it could be auto penned or flown out here, but what is clear is the president said she will sign it. >> the president got involved in the funding of the victims of the super storm sandy. tell us what he did? >> reporter: in a statement the president said, quote, when tragedy strikes americans come together to support those in need. i urge republicans in the house of representatives to do the same, bring this important request to a vote today and pass it without delay for our fellow americans, and the president also reaching out by phone to the governors of the two states,
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governor cuomo of new york and chris christi of new jersey. >> dan, thanks very much. while republicans have been fighting among themselves over the fiscal cliff deal and the disaster relief, we're learning of an angry and foul-mouthed exchange between the house speaker john boehner and harry reid days before the deal. it was touched off by this comment from harry reid. >> the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker, not allowing the vast majority of the house of representatives to get what they want. john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> our senior congressional correspondent, dana bash, is joining us with more on this
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story. pick it up for our viewers, because some ugly words were exchanged. >> reporter: that's right. this incident happened last friday in the lobby of the white house when they were waiting to go into meet with the president on the fiscal cliff, and we're told by sources from both parties that the senate majority leader, harry reid was sitting on the couch next to mitch mcconnell and the house speaker said to harry reid, go blank yourself, and the blank starts with an "f." and reid laughed it off and did not take it seriously. a republican that was there said that was not what happened and the exchange continued and it didn't get better for reid. what is interesting is not only did this happen, both men appeared to be eager to share the story with their colleagues. reid shared it with his democratic caucus in a meeting
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and the same for the house speaker, he told some of his colleagues as well. i just bumped into a lawmaker saying the speaker was relaying the incident, and it's not the first time the blank word has been used in the halls of the white house and congress, and it shows the fact that we are at january 2nd, and congress really has not gone home. >> what kind of relationship, dana, has these two men had, the speaker of the house and senate majority leader over the years? >> reporter: at times it was productive, a year and a half ago the first real showdown we had when boehner became speaker was about keeping the congress open, the government open, rather, and he and the senate democratic leader, harry reid and their staffs, they are the ones that negotiated a deal to come out of that.
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there certainly has been tension as well, so it has gone back and forth. for us that observe and cover these two every day what is most striking about the exchange that we know about, which was first reported by politico is that you have john boehner, who grew up in his father's bar and tends to have some salty language, and he's not afraid to admit that, and you have the senate democratic leader, harry reid, who is a mormon. i know from talking to his staff, they try very hard not to curse around him, and so that is the conflicting personalities between the two of them and that's why this was interesting the two of them had the confrontation and harry reid heard the language from the speaker. >> yeah, a little salty language from the speaker. dana has been working hard for our viewers, and we appreciate it. new fallout over the fiscal cliff deal and it becomes clear how special interests benefited from the negotiations.
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and fellow republican slamming john boehner for failing to hold a vote on super storm sandy disaster relief. and michael grim of new york, he is coming into "the situation room," right now. welcome.
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victims of super storm sandy are stunned and furious over the failure of this congress to authorize a $60 billion aid package, and officials from the affected states now joined in the outrage, and that includes republicans like the new jersey governor, chris christi, that slammed the house speaker, john boehner, earlier in the day, and boehner now has hustled to make
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amends. congressman michael grimm is joining us now, and his district is the hard-hit areas of statsen island and brooklyn. >> thank you. >> you went to a meeting with the speaker and majority leader and they reassured you the money is on the way, is that what they told you? >> i stayed after the meeting broke up, when everybody went to the press conference because i wanted to shake hands with the speaker and the leader to get a personal -- it's one thing as a conference, as the official speaker and leader, but personally i wanted their word that the people of staten island -- >> you looked them in the eye and you went up to the speaker, john boehner, and what did you say? >> i said sir i need to have your word that we have a vote coming on the 15th for the full $60 billion, even though it may be broken up into pieces before that and we will get that vote and he gave me his word. >> what did he say exactly?
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>> on the 15th, you will have my vote. >> but that doesn't mean the republicans will be in favor of it? >> that's my job. when i say our job, that's not on the speaker, it never was. the votes are on us. i was in the office until 9:45 on new year's eve making sure we had the votes in anticipation of it coming to the floor. it didn't come to the floor, as you know, which caused us a lot of angst and some people may never forgive that and now i have to go forward and work to get those votes again. >> did you get the impression he will support the $60 billion to help the victims of super storm sandy? >> yes, i did get the impression that he would support it. i don't think it comes down to the speaker -- >> his vote is important. >> every single vote is important on this, and my job now is to work with my delegation to make sure that we can pass the legislation on the 15th come hell or high water.
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>> and eric cantor? >> in his defense, he was standing shoulder to shoulder with me last night at 11 something p.m., working to get the vote. >> you thought the vote was about to happen? >> yes. >> and then all of a sudden, no vote. >> right. >> why? >> i think the conference overall was not happy that there was no spending cuts in this final deal for a fiscal cliff. because of that, just because i think the week that we have had and the battles we had in the last two years on spending, it's very hard and a big lift for the speaker to come to that same conference after voting on a bill they were not happy with and say by the way at the midnight hour which we said we didn't want to do midnight votes, we will vote on $60 billion of unoffset spending. and i have been fighting to make sure that we don't have to make
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sure we have to go through an off-set process, because it's not feasible right now. that would be a battle that we wouldn't win and it would leave the people and victims of sandy left holding the bag once again. >> and a lot of fellow republicans say give them the money but cut spending elsewhere to pay for it because of the deficit problems we have? >> as you know, finding offsets that everybody else is going to agree to is sometimes close to impossible. the president has not been able to do it with the speaker and the leader in the senate and so on and i didn't want sandy to be messed up in that. this is emergency relief. people are hurting and businesses are going out. this is not normal business. this is not a continued spending. this is a one-time tragic event that we historically have always been there for and that's why it's important that we are there now. >> this is how angry you were earlier in the day and i will play the clip. >> there was a betrayal.
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and there was an aerror in judgment that is going to cost, i think, the trust of the american people. >> it was a betrayal. those are strong words. and then you came out and said you could not vote to re-elect john boehner as speaker of the house and you thought you would abstain in that vote but you have come around since then? >> obviously, if the speaker's decision was ultimately that he could not support bringing this to the floor and he could not support new york and new jersey, then no, i couldn't support him as speaker. i mean, i think that speaks for itself. but that was not the case. i needed to hear that from the speaker of what exactly happened. i think it was seriously not that his heart was not in the right place and he intentionally planned to abandon new york or new jersey, and he had to make a
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judgment call as the speaker, and not a call that i supported, and i think it was a mistake, but we're going to move forward and i know we have his support now. >> you will vote for him? >> yes, i will. >> michael grimm, good luck to all the folks in your district who desperately need help right now. >> appreciate. thank you. and a happy start for wall street. we will detail how investors are reacting to the fiscal cliff deal. 30 shrimp for $11.99. i can't imagine anything better. you're getting a ton of shrimp, and it tastes really good! [ male announcer ] hurry in to red lobster's 30 shrimp for just $11.99! choose any two of five savory shrimp selections, like mango jalapeño shrimp and parmesan crunch shrimp. two delicious shrimp selections on one plate! all with salad and unlimited cheddar bay biscuits. 30 shrimp, just $11.99 for a limited time. wow, that's a lot of shrimp. i'm ryon stewart, i'm the ultimate shrimp lover, and i sea food differently. but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers.
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all right. just want to update our viewers on what we know as far as secretary of state hillary clinton is concerned. earlier she was seen leaving the hospital, and there she is walking down the stairs in her sunglasses and chelsea right next to her, and former president clinton getting in a van, and her office has not issued a statement saying she has been released or discharged from the hospital and she has not been released or discharged from the hospital. she is in the van, and i am hearing she was in the van to go to a different location on the
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campus of the hospital to get more tests, and she is back in the hospital where she has been, and she is not on her way home. but you saw her getting into that van with her family and husband and her daughter, going to a different location just for a brief test. i don't know what kind of test it was. we are getting more information. bottom line, hillary clinton remains a patient at new york presbyterian hospital right now. we will get more information and update you as it comes in. and other news following that here, and it's including stocks, and kate bolduan is monitoring that. good to have you back on the new year as well. >> very big day in terms of stocks. the surge is all about trying to avert the fiscal cliff. the dow gained more than 300 points and nasdaq rose over 3%,
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and the same affect on global markets. other news we're following, pennsylvania's governor is suing the ncaa for its unprecedented sanctions on the university. it included a fine following the jerry sandusky sex abuse trial. it says it does not punish sandusky but the students and school. and avis is getting into the car-sharing business by buying the zip car, and as a car sharing company it rents by the hour in urban areas, and the deal is subject to share holder approval but is expected to be finalized in the spring. zip car is really popular. i see them here in d.c. all the
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time. >> i am surprised only $500 million. >> still a lot of money. >> yeah, $500 million, and not a billion. and a lot of people zip around in zip cars. the numbers coming out of syria, and they are staggering. the death toll soaring and very harsh words for the world's response or lack there of. [ female announcer ] life is full of little tests, but your basic paper towel can handle them. especially if that towel is bounty basic. the towel that's durable, and scrubbable. in this lab demo, bounty basic is stronger than the leading bargain brand. everyday life? bring it with bounty basic. the strong but affordable picker-upper... now costs even less. the strong but affordable picker-upper... excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to
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shocking new casualty figures as beautiful fighting rages in syria.
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rebels are said to be assaulting a military air base in the video you are seeing right now in northern syria. 150 more people reported dead today and the united nations now says, get this, 60,000 syrians have died since the conflict began two years ago. the united nations human rights commissioner is accusing the word of fiddling, quote, while syria burns. let's go to our correspondent in beirut. 60,000 people dead and probably more than 1 million displaced internally or externally, and the numbers are horrific, mohammed. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. horrific details have been emerging for the last several hours, about an air strike that targeted a gas station in a
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damascus suburb. the video looked to be corroborated with what we heard, and they say the bodies in the wake of the attack were so bangled and burned that for many hours they could not actually come up with a count of the number of people dead from that attack. as of now it stands of at least 74 people killed as a result of that attack and they expect the death toll to rise throughout the night. more fighting to talk about in the northern part of the country, there's a strategic air base for the syrian military, and opposition activist said rebel soldiers are launching an attack on the base all day and we have seen video purporting to show them launching an attack, and this is a real strategic key
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place for the rebels to overtake and there are still soldiers within the air base and we were told by the media arm of one opposition group very close to the air base that this is a base from which horrific attacks were launched against the population of towns in that area by the syrian regime these last few months. wolf? >> thank you, mohammed. let's look at the very dangerous crisis in syria and what it means, and joining us is david miller, a former middle east negotiator and his book is entitled "can america have another great president," and that's a book coming out soon, right? >> hopefully. >> and another book "america's elusive search for arab israeli peace," and let's talk about the article you wrote in the "washington post" today and it offers a different perspective than what we are hearing from
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senators john mccain and lieberman, and we have advocated providing weapons directly to vetted rebel groups and establishing a no fly zone over parts of syria and neither course would require putting u.s. troops on the ground or acting alone and key allies made clear again and again their hope of stronger american leadership and their frustration that the united states has been sitting on the sidelines. the piece you wrote today takes a different perspective and i want you to briefly explain the u.s. role or lack of u.s. role in dealing with this horrible situation in syria. >> well, i argue essentially that our options range from bad to worse. >> u.s. options? >> yes. and the reality is the arabs own their own politics not for the first time in their modern history and the notion that somehow syria's was america's to win or lose, or we could alter the trajectory there, i think
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it's an ahraouzry. and nobody is talking about the insertions of americans on the ground. and for them to arm a very unidentified popposition, or create a new fly zone, and a direct military confrontation with the syrian regime we need to think carefully about how this is going to factor into the actual end state. what ultimately is going to transpire? i would argue the notion of those -- and this is not a republican or democratic issue. i work for democrats and republicans and i voted for democrats and republicans, but this is an issue of what makes sense for the united states and what doesn't. in a set of military actions along the lines that the senators identified i think would not be effective, and they
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would open the door, it seems to me, to further calls for additional and american military -- >> so the united states should just stay on the sidelines and let the slaughter continue? >> i know it's horrific and painful. no, we can't and we're not sitting on the sidelines. i know it's not morally satisfying but very unsatisfying and we are trying to deal with the humanitarian conditions of syrian and refugee flows, and we are trying to organize it, and we played some effective role in organizing, and somehow the notion that we hold the key and this is obama's rwanda is way off the charge. >> you have been thrust into the debate over chuck hagel, and should he succeed leon pennetta as the secretary of defense, and you wrote a powerful piece
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saying all the arguments against him are basically based on misinformation. you admire chuck hagel? >> i like him. i only let him once. he gave me one interview which has been hijacked -- >> well the viewers why it has been hijacked. he said the jewish lobby intim dates a lot of people, and as a result of the words has been severely criticized. >> if you live in washington, as you and i have done for many years now, you would have to be in a coma if you didn't affect the fact that the jewish community has a powerful voice. and chuck acknowledges it, and he is one of the few willing and able to adopt a somewhat independent view of these matters, and the notion that chuck hagel, the use of his
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words suggested he is not qualified for the secretary of defense or he is hostile, i think that's wrong. we talked about shared values and his support for the basic security needs of the israelis, and i think he gets it. and, look, whether or not he is confirmed, his positions on iran, on santions, but this man should not be vilified on the basis of the interview he gave to me or his record. >> i have known him for a long time and he is a highly intelligent and highly respected leader, and i was surprised when he left the senate. he is on the president's foreign intelligence advisory board right now, and he served the president and worked with him closely. >> i think the hagel affair, and barack obama is one of the 17 american presidents who now have the privilege of being elected to a second term, and yet you
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see it everywhere, gun control and the fiscal cliff and the susan rice nomination, and the perils that apparently the informal mention of chuck hagel's name -- the president can't even get his way when it comes to the national security appointment. it's a sad commentary i think on the waning power and influence of the second term president and we have not even started his second term yet. >> let's see what the president decides to do if he will go forward with the nomination. do you think he will? >> i do, actually, yeah. >> i suspect he will, and let's see how the confirmation process goes. and a heartbroken community sending children back to school weeks after the shooting that left the nation stupbz. how the parents are now coping. so i switched my car insurance to state farm...
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the students from the sandy hook elementary school will return to class fotomorrow for e first time since the shooting. they will go to a neighboring school in town. and our correspondent is in newtown where she spoke with some of the children's parents. >> reporter: dozens of people over the holidays worked
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tirelessly transforming a school into a k-4. they moved desks and chairs into the new building that will be renamed sandy hook elementary school. they want things to be normal for the children. there will be counselors on hand and parents had a chance to go to the new building and tour it and take a look and the children met with their teachers and a couple we are told as pizza parties so they could connect with the children and reassure them everything will be okay. it doesn't mean the parents are not nervous about the children going back to school. we spoke to a couple that said when those school buses pull away with their children they will be following the buses to make sure they will get to the school safely. >> there is no real play book for this. i don't think any of us have a play book. we're kind of just sensing our child and trying to meet the
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needs that we can, and just support them as best as we possibly can. you don't want to frighten them either. >> for the kids, if they want me in the classroom i am more than happy to be there and i think being in the auditorium with some of the parents, this is the first times we have had without media and people who were not necessarily involved, and i joked with a parent that said i will see you in the morning and bring coffee, and i joked because i am not sure i am ready to let them go in peace because my peace has been shattered and security. >> and a lot of kids are eager to be reunited with their friends. they want to go back to class, and they want to be in the routine of learning. doesn't mean they are not anxious or nervous, but as one parent said, these are kids who are 5 through 10 years old, and so for them to go to a new school, it's very much an adventure, but not only that
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they feel their children will be able to heal more quickly with children that were there when the shooting occurred. wolf? >> thank you. in the aftermath of the shooting and the discussion over gun lawrie folaw reform, people are rushing guns in the united states. almost 2.8 million background checks in december, and in one year, 2012, one note, this is just the number of checks performed. a lot of people go ahead and buy more than one gun. money for nascar race tracks and for studying algae, the tough fiscal cliff negotiations led to tough to believe tax perks for special interests at the same time.
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despite the last-minute fiscal cliff deal, americans will still see their paychecks shrink somewhat because of a temporary reduction in the payroll tax rate that was allowed to expire. cnn's tom foreman is looking at a closer look of what happened. explain what happened. >> if you make less than
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$450,000 as a couple, you think you dodged a bullet and will not have to pay more taxes. not so fast. for the past two years everybody has enjoyed a payroll tax of 2%, and the government wanted to let people have more money to spend and super the economy, and that has expired. let's look at this. if you make $25,000 a year, how much more will you pay? about $500 or so more per year. that is real money, particularly if you only make $25,000 a year. and let's step up to $50,000. this is the median income for the country and what most people are making in terms of an average. they will jump up to almost $1,000 a year. $80 more per month for some. and that's something you have to budget for. and $70,000, it's almost $1500 in additional taxes that you
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just started paying and you have to complete paying before the end of this year, and if you go to $100,000 down here, and that moves up to about $2,000 for the course of the year. i do want to add, wolf, this doesn't go up and up and up, and there's a maximum amount people pay, and the rich do not pay a whole lot more but will pay all of the social security taxes by june or july, august whatever it may be, and these are real taxes that we're all really paying right now. >> real money for obviously for a whole lot of people out there. what about the folks in the higher tax brackets, in addition to the payroll tax going up for them like they are going up for everybody they are going to be hit with a higher income tax rate, and explain precisely what will happen? >> let me get rid of this. the president said he will make the wealthy pay more and they will until this deal, and they
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will. let's use a real world example. my favorite quarterback in the entire world, drew brees from the new orleans saints just signed a deal for $100 million over five years, and if that breaks down, it's $20 million per year. if he did not have an accountant and i am sure he probably does, so he didn't have any way to count his charitable contributions and he had to pay the taxes on that, the taxes on about $20 million at 39.6% would come out to 7 to $8 million in taxes, and that's a good step up that he was paying before at 35%. this is real money that has to be paid, and if you want to see it, we came up with a vision. if you came up with $20 bills and bundled them to stack out in the garage to pay drew brees' tax bill for this coming year.
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i'm pretty sure with that kind of money, neither he nor the government will mind if i take a little $20 out of here there to help pay with the payroll taxes. >> keep the $20 and buy yourself a beer later. >> maybe a burrito. >> thanks very much. good work, tom foreman, for that. i hope drew brees has some good accountants that defers some of that compensation. gives a lot of charitable money away as well, so the tax burden will go down in the process. other related news, there's new fallout over that fiscal cliff deal, as it becomes clear how some special interests here in washington and around the country benefited from all those very bitter behind-the-scenes secret negotiations. brian todd is here with more on this part of the story. and it is sort of eye-popping, if you read the fine print, in those 150 pages of the legislation, that was passed overwhelmingly by the senate, then passed overwhelmingly by the house, and now will be signed by the president into law. >> that's right. here's the outrage factor in this whole thing, wolf. you know, most of us taxpayers are relieved today, knowing we
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do get some tax relief in the new fiscal cliff deal, at least as far as income tax. but there's part of this deal never talked about, during all of the political wrangling that extends tax breaks in places where, well, maybe they should have put on the brakes. >> reporter: the tax perks for some industries that have been extended in this deal might just make you blow a gasket. like gaskets found on nascar tracks, which because of this bill, will have plenty of money to clean those up. the cliff deal has a tax break worth about $70 million for the next two years. >> for motor sports entertainment complexes. what are we talking about here? >> we're talking about places where car races occur. >> the building of tracks. >> the building of tracks, perhaps the renovation of a track. >> do they need that kind of a break? >> doesn't matter whether they need it or not. they've managed to get it. >> reporter: what do you think of this? extending the tax credit for another year at a cost of $59 million for algae growers and others who are trying to produce
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something called cellulosic biofuels. that's fuel made from the fibery parts of grasses, trees, and yes, algae. here's what tom shathz says about this. it's pretty outrageous? >> absolutely. this is a product that has not been used commercially yet in the united states. >> reporter: professor kangga says that's true, but as someone who's spent years researching how to turn algae into fuel, he says it's worth trying. >> al ji actually grows faster than any other kinds of plants. that's why it may well be the best source of a fuel. >> reporter: but the cliff deal gives $4 million over two years to the makers of plug-in electric motorcycles and $430 million to movie and tv producers. >> they are profitable, large companies. this does not help small businesses. the limit is $15 million, as the amount of money that they can expense. so it's not a low-budget film, to say the least.
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>> but if it encourages them to do their -- to produce their movies in united states, rather than taking it overseas, isn't that a good thing? >> just because something is being subsidized elsewhere, doesn't mean that the u.s. has to subsidize something? >> reporter: why when all the arguments over the cliff crisis over some budgeting was all of this included? >> they just didn't have enough time. these tax breaks, the easy thing to do on these was simply to extend them. these aren't new. >> and the frustrating part is, again, we can't even point to one or two congressmen in particular and expose them for all of this. tom shaths says, unlike with earmarks, where we could get a list of lawmakers who requested money for certain projects, there is no such requirement for these tax breaks. there's no specific state or location that can be identified with a given expenditure. we cannot point to congressman "x" and say look at that pork barreler, wolf. they're just there and no one's accountable. >> and i'm sure there's a lot of other stuff that's sort of bury in those pages as well. i guess the argument is, you saved $4 trillion and increased
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taxes on middle class families 89% of people who pay taxes out there, so what's $400 million going to the movie industry? what's the big deal? >> tom shaths says the big deal is because cumulatively, these tax breaks add to the deficit. the motor sport industry and the movie industry, they don't pay extra. and when these added tax breaks keep piling up, it makes it hard to reform the tax code. when the tax code can't be reform, tax rates for all of us stay higher. we pay more. so it hurts everybody. >> yep, all right, brian. good stuff. thanks for sharing that with our viewers. here's a question, can being overweight, yes, can being overweight ever be a good thing? a new study reaches a surprising conclusion.
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so as many of us resolve to lose a little weight in the coming year, a new study says being moderately overweight, get this, could lead to a longer life. our senior medical correspondent, elizabeth cohen, is joining us with these surprising results. elizabeth, this is so counterintuitive. help us understand what is going on here. >> right, wolf. well, we're told lose weight to be healthier, but what this study of more than 3 million people found was when they were
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overweight, they actually seemed to live a bit, not a lot, but seemed to live a bit longer. it may be because weight is not quite as important as we think. there may be other things that are also important. so the lesson here may be, know your weight, but in addition, know what your blood pressure is. know what your cholesterol level is. know what your glucose is. and also, keep your weight, if you can, in the right places. distribution matters. it's worse around the belly. so it may be that these overweight people, that many of them all these numbers and all that distribution was just fine, they were just kind of overweight. >> what is -- what do they consider being overweight? >> right. let's take a look at these numbers. and this comes from something called the body mass index chart. so let's say you're 5'4". you would be considered overweight if you weighed between 150 and 170 pounds. 5'10", between 180 and 210 pounds. and it doesn't matter if you are male or female. >> if you're 5'10" and you weigh 180, that's considered
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overweight? >> 180 to 210 is overweight. anything over 210 is obese. and it's interesting, this study makes it clear that being obese, particularly very obese, is bad. that definitely gives you a higher risk of having a shorter life. >> because if you're really, really overweight, that affects not just your blood pressure, but affects your heart, and it could really be, you know, a killer, if you will. >> right. it affects everything. so experts really are in agreement that being severely obese is a big problem. it's sort of that grey overweight area that they haven't quite nailed down yet, exactly how dangerous it is or it isn't. >> elizabeth cohen, thanks very much. >> thanks. . and happening now, top republicans blast the house speaker, john boehner, as fierce infighting breaks out over aid for victims of hurricane sandy. plus, the view of the next race for the white house from atop the so-called fiscal cliff. some votes may cast a long shadow. and a look at a political conspiracy theory from the
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right. sparked by hillary clinton's series of health crisis. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." this image sparked some high hopes for hillary clinton, just a little while ago, high hopes for her fans from around the world. ailing the secretary of state emerging from a new york hospital building with her husband, the former president, and daughter, chelsea. but reports of her release were premature. our foreign affairs correspondent, jill dougherty, is over at the state department, joining us right now. jill, i'm hearing the secretary of state is still a patient at the hospital, even though we saw her leaving that building, getting into that van a little while ago. >> it's been a bit confusing, because we haven't had any official comment, official explanation coming from the state department. our understanding is, she is still a patient in that hospital and that she has not been released.
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now, why did we see her getting into that van? well, it is possible, we understand, that she may have been moved to another part of the hospital for some testing. after all, she has been undergoing testing, and the doctors are trying to figure out precisely whether they have given her the proper dose of medicine, those blood thinners that are supposed to be getting rid of that blood clot in her head, so that might be part of it. it has been confusing, but if you look at that video, she looks quite good, she's walking under her own speed. and today at a briefing here at the state department, the spokesperson did say she's been on the phone, she's talking with her staff, and her family has been there. so there are some good signs, wolf. >> she's still being treated for that blood clot in her head, outside of the brain, near the skull, if you will, behind her right ear. i guess they're trying to determine the blood thinners, to determine they're working to keep that blood clot from growing. >> that's exactly right.
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in fact, it is actually in a vein. and i think it's important to point that out. it's not really, you know, in the brain, it's not on the edge of her brain, it's in a vein that's between the skull and the brain. so, what they're trying to do is get rid of that, so that blood flows freely out of the brain, you know, comes into the brain, goes out of the brain, and theoretically, again, if they get the right dose, she could have blood thinners and totally function normally. >> bottom line in all of this, even though we saw her getting out of that hospital building into that van, she is still there on the campus of new york presbyterian hospital. she's still a patient inside, and we, of course, hope she won't there much longer, she'll be able to go home, rest, recuperate, and get back to work. we're wishing her the best. we see a smile on the face of her husband, bill clinton. we'll stay on top of this, jill, thank you. other news, if the house speaker, john boehner, was hoping for a moment's peace
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after that brutal battle after the fiscal cliff, he was certainly disappointed. no sooner had that fight ended than a new one exploded over the $60 billion hurricane sandy aid package. the house adjourned last night without voting on it and boehner found himself on the receiving end of some very sharp and bitter attacks from both parties. our senior congressional correspondent, dana bash, is up on capitol hill, watching what's going on. what's the latest on this story, dana? >> reporter: the latest, wolf, is that boehner moved very fast to clean up the political storm that he caused by delaying that vote. he had a meeting this afternoon right down there in his office with delegation members from new york, from new jersey, republicans had promised that there will be a vote on some of it this friday. the rest, the bulk of it will be by mid-january. that seemed to satisfy them, but the question is whether the political damage is lasting. it will be two weeks later than they wanted, but gop lawmakers from sandy's stricken states are satisfied they will now get
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federal aid. >> i did disagree with delaying this vote. i think we all did, but now that it's done, we have to do the very next best thing. >> reporter: house speaker john boehner scrabbled to set new dates this month to vote on $60 billion in disaster relief and quash a rebellion from the region's republicans. >> as far as i'm concerned, that was a lifetime ago. >> reporter: but the house walls were practically still shaking from the anger directed at the house speaker house earlier for abruptly cancelling a vote during this congress. >> and i think it's inexcusable that we did not have this vote. >> reporter: and these were republicans. >> absurd! absolutely absurd. we demand nothing less than we have given the rest of the country. an emergency in disaster means emergency and disaster. >> reporter: gop outrage was pointed and personal. >> dysfunction of the republican leadership, the speaker, for some reason, is taking out out on new york and long island and new jersey. it's a disgrace. >> so what did happen?
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house majority leader eric cantor, who took the lead on sandy relief, had promised a vote on the aid package before the lame duck session ended. >> the motion is adopted without adoption, a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. >> reporter: but gop leadership sources tell cnn, right after the toxic fiscal cliff vote, the house speaker yanked the bill. >> i was called at 11:20 last night by leader cantor and told that authority for the vote was pulled by the speaker. >> reporter: the reason, cnn is told the speaker worried it was bad internal politics for him to allow a vote on $60 billion in new federal spending after a long day of getting pummeled by his own house republicans, for not enough spending cuts in the fiscal cliff bill. new jersey's popular republican governor. >> on a political chessboard of internal palace intrigue politics, our people were played last night, as a pawn. >> reporter: chris christie eviscerated the house speaker. >> i called the speaker four
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times last night, after 11:20, and he did not take my calls. it is why the american people hate congress. it's why they hate them. >> reporter: wolf, i contacted governor christie's office to see if he has anything new to add now that the speaker has promised a vote on this sandy relief within the next two weeks. a spokesman for the governor told me that the governor has, quote, nothing else to add. >> he's only promising a vote, dana, but there's no promise it's actually going to pass. what's the head counting suggest? >> reporter: they'll probably lose some republican votes for the reason that boehner didn't bring it up in the first place last night, that there are republicans who simply don't want to vote for anything, any new federal spending that isn't paid for. but there are certainly a lot of democrats who are going to vote for it. and remember, in the next congress, which begins at 12:00 tomorrow, there are more democratic seats, 201 democrats. so it should have no problem passing. >> yeah, okay. good to know that. dana, thanks very much. kate balduan is back in "the
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situation room" after a little r&r. good to have you back, kate. >> thank you, wolf. >> you've got more on this part of the story. >> let's continue talking about the sandy fallout, not just the politics, but really the reality of the situation. people in the sandy disaster zone really took this very personally, even though it really hasn't been in the news much. the situation there is still grim and for many victims, desperation is a daily reality. cnn's mary snow is in a hard-hit section of staten island for us. mary, what are you hearing, what are you seeing and more specifically, what are you hearing from residents tonight? >> reporter: well, you know, kate, to say that there is anger here would be putting it mildly. as you can see behind me, there is still so much work that remains to be done here. so many residents here feel forgotten, and they're questioning why congress was able to pass emergency aid for victims of hurricane katrina within days, and yet, it's been more than two months since sandy struck, and new york and new jersey are still waiting for
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help. >> she knows me. >> reporter: nine weeks after superstorm sandy, 76-year-old frank gisi relays on the red cross for meals. just this week, he was able to return to his home on staten island. >> water was coming through the walls, through the brick. >> reporter: gisi shows us photos of his house that needs to be gutted. and while he's happy to be back home, he's furious with house republicans for refusing to vote on the $60 billion aid package to help sandy victims. if you were on capitol hill today, what would you say to lawmakers? >> you stink. all of you stink. you have no compassion, and you got -- you don't have blood in your veins, you got ice cubes. >> reporter: while gissi has returned home, many people on his block hasn't because of the extensive damage, and he worries about whether they'll come back. >> i cried for two weeks when i lost this house.
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if i could cry again, i'd cry again. i have no use for them in washington. i have friends on the block here that lost more than me. and they're living in shelters. >> reporter: this area of staten island was so hard hit, president obama visited newdorf beach with city and state officials in november. in fact, he was just down the street from mcclendon's home, which was destroyed. mcclendon spends his days trying to salvage what he can while he waits for insurance money. he remembers the president's promise to never forget. but mcclendon says, he's a realist. >> it's all politics. everything's politics. just look out here, right now, everybody left. there's only a couple of agencies just hanging around. but in two more months, there'll be nobody here, and all these houses are still going to be vacant and gutted and, you know, waiting for help. >> reporter: now, some of the residents we spoke with say they're relieved to hear that the house plans to hold a vote
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friday on one aid package and another in mid-january. but they say they hope that house republican leaders will keep their word. kate? >> it sure is amazing to see the devastation, still there behind you, still everywhere in staten island and beyond. mary snow, thank you very much. as you mentioned, wolf, aid could be on the way, but they have two votes in the house to get that aid package, heading toward the sandy devastation. >> if it does pass the house, there'll be a lot more democrats voting for it than republicans. republicans want those offsets. they want to cut spending elsewhere to pay for the $60 billion. and peter king and other republican congressmen from new york and new jersey, they point out, look, disaster relief from katrina, other places, there was no offsets then. why have a double standard for people? >> it often changes when the devastation is in your district. >> of course it does. thank you. the $60 billion sandy aid package would be the second largest, by the way, in u.s. history, surpassed only by the $62 billion spent on recovery from hurricane katrina. the next largest aid package was
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$21 billion in the wake of 9/11, followed by $11.6 billion for hurricane charlie, way back in 2004. almost $9 billion for the 1994 northridge earthquake out in california. more than $4 billion for the midwest floods of 1993. those numbers, by the way, are not adjust for inflation. still ahead, echoes from the fiscal cliff vote. they may carry all the way to 2016. we'll look at the impact for possible presidential contenders. plus, questions are swirling about secretary of state hillary clinton. why aren't we getting more information about her condition and do we even have the right to know? 's back. again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing! we can see you carl. we can totally see you. come on you're better than this...all that prowling around. yeah, you're the king of the jungle. have you thought about going vegan carl? hahaha!! you know folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy.
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we've just learned that the fiscal cliff bill has now been delivered to the white house for president obama's signature. the dramatic last-minute house vote revealed, though, some stunning disarray inside the gop leadership. in the end, 85 republicans were among the 257 lawmakers to vote for the bill. >> among them, the house speaker, john boehner, who broke with tradition, quite a bit, to cast a vote that evening. but his number two and number three, the house majority leader, eric cantor, and majority whip, kevin mccarthy, they both voted against the bill, and other votes may hold some clues about the next race for the white house. we can never talk about that soon enough. cnn's national political correspondent, jim acosta, is joining us more with this part of the story. what are you picking up? what votes are offering some clues? >> this is what everybody was watching, right? besides the votes as to whether or not it would pass, as to who was going to vote what on this. and while much of washington was peering just over the edge of the fiscal cliff, and looking
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into the abyss below, a select few politicians were keeping their eyes on the horizon, to the campaign cliff of 2016. gop ticket in 2012, and as a potential contender in 2016. but paul ryan, the chairman of the house budget committee, was nearly invisible in the run-up to the fiscal cliff. ryan finally voted yes and then slipped out of the capital, chatting briefly with cnn off-camera. >> if you want a bill that passed, you should vote for it. >> why did you want it to pass? >> i'm not afraid of anything. i think it should pass. >> one reason for his stealth performance, conservative activists are outraged by what happened. taxes going up, mostly on wealthier americans, while the automatic spending cuts were delayed. >> i think there are going to be consequences, because, you know, people have been understanding and tolerant, but at the end of the day, how long can we continue down this path of spend and spend and spend some more?
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>> reporter: so it's no surprise tea party activists are touting other possible 2016 candidates, like florida senator, marco rubio, who stirred up even more presidential speculation by tweeting his opposition, saying, how can barack obama call his proposal a deficit reduction package, if it uses tax increases to fund more spending and it increases the debt. tea party favorite, rand paul, also voted no with gusto. >> you may not get anymore revenue. you may not get anymore economic growth. but you can say, i stuck it to the rich people. >> reporter: but those republicans voting yes may have caught a break. after congress missed the fiscal cliff deadline of december 31st, taxes technically went up on all americans. so when the deal was approved ton the 1st, well, listen to anti-tax activist, grover norquist. >> so we're not raising taxes, we're actually cutting taxes. >> you're saying because the bush tax cuts have expired yesterday? >> yes. >> and what about the democrats? vice president joe biden is very much back in the conversation
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for 2016, after a shout-out from the president. >> i want to thank all of the leaders of the house and senate. in particular, i want to thank the work that was done by my extraordinary vice president, joe biden. >> reporter: but there's one problem, the fiscal mess that is so big, even deficit hawk, alan simpson, did the gangnam style to call attention to it, hasn't gone anywhere. >> let me just say that if this is a problem that we haven't dealt with before the next presidential election, 2016, nobody should want or have that job, because the country will be in such bad shape. >> so the fiscal cliff was just a preview of coming attractions. votes on the debt ceiling and those spending cuts in the fiscal cliff are just around the corner. and they could, potentially, make or break some of the political careers of some of these potential candidates that we're watching. >> when the president says, and you know this, when the president says, i'm not even going to negotiate on raising the debt ceiling, you're just going to have to do it, a lot of republicans, kate, you know, you
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cover the hill -- >> are saying, okay, we'll talk about that, because that's not true. >> and part of this is about where the republican party is headed from here. there are sort of three paths ahead. one is the pragmatic route that the senate republicans took on the night they overwhelmingly voted in favor of it. there's the tea party republican route, which is, hey, wait a minute, we don't want to do any of this stuff, and then there's the mad as hell and i'm not going to take it anymore route that chris christie talked about today. and until we get some clarity on that, we're going to be watching all of these candidates very carefully. >> and make no mistake, politically, these votes always come back in terms of future votes, future politicians, future presidential runs. these votes always come back to haunt these folks. >> they're watching. >> ask john kerry, i was for it before i was against it -- remember all that. in any case, erskine bowles, by the way, of the bowles/simpson commission, he will be joining us here tomorrow, he has some very strong views about what's going on. a shocking and potentially lethal discovery at an upscale
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new york address. we have some surprising new details about the two young people who were arrest there had. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. at liberty mutual insurance, we understand. that's why our auto policies come with accident forgiveness if you qualify, where your rates won't go up due to your first accident,
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it's a voltive explosive
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that's an al qaeda favorite, so you can imagine the shock when it turned up along with a cache of weapons in a new york apartment. >> but just as shocking, the two suspects now in custody. two young americans from privileged backgrounds. cnn national correspondent, susan candiotti is working the story for us. what are you finding out, susan? >> wolf, it's the kind of case that leaves you wondering, what did this young couple have in mind and what did they intend to do with all kinds of explosive materials and manuals, including one entitled, "how to make a boop y trapp," and the other, "the terrorist encyclopedia." >> when police raided the opal of erin green and morgan gleedman in greenwich village, they found explosive material and chemicals used to make it, along with two shotguns, a flare gun and high-capacity magazines. >> the hmtd is extremely volatile. and that's why the building was
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evacuated and surrounding buildings as well were certainly put on notice, because of the ability of this to just go off at any given time. >> as shocking, the suspects come from successful families. erin green's father is a successful business owner. gleedman's dad is a doctor. gleedman's mom is high-end realtor. green's lawyer declined to comment. a law enforcement source says the two met in rehab and that her family believes green was the instigator. >> what appears to have been going on in that apartment? >> well, we're still trying to determine precisely what was going on, but obviously, the biggest cause for concern was the explosive. >> reporter: hmtd is a signature al qaeda bomb-making material. it was used successfully in the 2005 london subway bombing attack. convicted new york city subway
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plotter, nanji naji tried to us but had trouble making it. >> it's very difficult to transport and to handle, and can easily go off. >> reporter: police were turned on to the suspects by a tip. the alleged bomb makers here in washington square park invited a couple over to their apartment nearby to use the showers. that's when suspect erin green allegedly showed off the weapons and even blew up a small amount of explosives, right there in the apartment. law enforcement sources say the incident happened six weeks ago and authorities suspect the tipster might have been moved to call police after the newtown school shooting. did they have a beef against anyone, against the government, any writings? what are you trying to find out about them? >> well, we're trying to identify precisely, what you said, was there a target? was there a cause that they were
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adhering to? what was the objective? what was the goal of having all of this information and this weaponry? >> now, suspect aaron green has not yet made his second court appearance, that will happen later this week, so we don't know what his plea is just yesterday. as for his alleged accomplice, morgan gleedman, we have not yet reached her lawyer. she has not had a court appearance yet, because she just gave birth to a baby and she is still under police guard at a local hospital. wolf? >> pretty disturbing stuff, susan candiotti reporting. thank you. >> what a wild story. still ahead, what's going on with hillary clinton? many are asking. she walked out of a new york hospital a few hours ago ago, but we are told she has not been released. we're digging deeper, next. any. you're getting a ton of shrimp, and it tastes really good! [ male announcer ] hurry in to red lobster's 30 shrimp for just $11.99! choose any two of five savory shrimp selections, like mango jalapeño shrimp and parmesan crunch shrimp.
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and it's good breaking news. we have just been told by the state department that the secretary of state, hillary clinton, has been discharged from the hospital in new york, just a little while ago. this is official statement from the state department, just coming in. our foreign affairs correspondent, jill dougherty, has the statement for us. jill, go ahead. read the statement to our viewers. there's a high interest on the condition of the secretary of state. >> okay, wolf. well, it just came out a few minutes ago. secretary clinton was discharged from the hospital this evening. her medical team advised her that she is making good progress on all fronts and they are confident she will make a full recovery. she's eager to get back to the office and we will keep you updated on her schedule, as it becomes clearer in the coming days. both she and her family would like to express their
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appreciation for the excellent care she received from the doctors, nurses, and staff at new york presbyterian hospital, colombia university medical center. so that's the news. the statement coming out from the state department, after kind of a confusing day, we saw that video of the secretary emerging from the hospital, and then apparently going back into the hospital. but the good news, now, is that she actually has been discharged, and apparently is doing well, and about to, they expect, make a full recovery. wolf? >> yeah, because when she walked out of that building, we're showing our viewers the pictures, with the president, the former president bill clinton, her daughter, chelsea, she got into that van, but we're told she went to a different location on the campus of that location, presumably to get another test or whatever, and then she came back. she was not discharged formally, but the good news now, is that she has been discharged from the hospital and according to the statement from the state department, is making good progress on all fronts and the statement goes on to say, they are confident she will make a full recovery, which, of course,
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we are happy to hear. we'll be watching all of that, closely. jill, thank you. the events, today, though, still raise some questions about the secretary's condition, on top of some already wild speculation that was out there. kate balduan is here with more on this part of the story. and some of that speculation was ridiculous. >> pretty wild, if you will, wolf. the state department wasn't already embroiled in enough controversy regarding the attack on the consulate in benghazi, some are taking it even a step further. enter controversy and conspiracy theories surrounding the secretary's recent illness. monday, december 10th, secretary of state hillary clinton suffering from the flu, cancels a planned trip to north africa and the middle east. her spokesman telling cnn, "since she's still under the weather, we'll be staying put this week." five days later, the state department says clinton had suffered a concussion after fainting earlier in the week. one official insisting the concussion was not severe. that same day, the house foreign
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affairs committee announced, due to health reasons, clinton would no longer be testifying in a much-anticipated public hearing on the attack in benghazi. that did not sit well with some on the right, from an outgoing tea party-backed congressman to conservative commentators, all accusing the secretary of state of hiding behind her illness. >> you know, i'm not a doctor, but it seems as though that the secretary of state has come down with a case of benghazi flu. i think we have to get to the bottom of this. >> apparently she's suffering from an acute benghazi allergy, which causes lightheadness when she hears the were benghazi or is being asked about it. >> if she's in the nfl, i wouldn't allow her to play. but she can make a phone call. >> reporter: the "new york post" ran the headline, "hillary clinton's head fake." >> every foreign service officer in every foreign ministry in the
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world knows the phrase that i'm about to use, when you don't want to go to a conference or an event, you have a diplomatic illness. and this is a diplomatic illness, to beat the band. >> reporter: and then sunday brought news of the blood clot. the state department announcing secretary clinton's illness was something much more serious. since then, relative silence from her critics. when asked on fox news about his earlier remarks suggesting an effort to keep clinton from testifying, john bolton seemed to soften his tone. >> i didn't think that was the effort to begin with. i think that they're trying to walk a fine line, that does not affect the potential presidential candidacy that we expect senator clinton to enter into in the near future. >> reporter: and the "new york post" changed its tune as well, wishing clinton a, quote, full and rapid recovery, in an editorial tuesday. >> joining us now, melinda hendenberger of "the washington post," democratic strategist,
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kiki mclean also joining us. ladies, thanks very much for coming in. you wrote an intriguing article in "the washington post," among other things, you said, "on a matter as sensitive as head injuries followed by denials of any neurological symptoms, i'm not sure why we would or should unquestioningly accept the word of any politician." so go ahead, explain the point you were trying to make. >> my point was really just that it's normal that there would be questions. after all, it's our job to ask questions of anyone in that situation. and there is a long history of public officials not being completely forth coming about health issues. although i back to fdr never being seen in the wheelchair or, you know, we didn't know edith wilson was running the white house after her husband, woodrow, had a stroke. so given the long history and the sensitivity of it, i just think it's normal that there be questions. i don't think it necessarily means that these are people who wish her ill. >> of course not. and, nothing wrong with
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journalists asking questions. from a pr -- you're a good democratic strategist. you've worked with hillary clinton, you know her quite well. when they put out a statement that raises some further questions, isn't it smart, though, as a public official, a secretary of state, to answer those questions? >> well, and i think, i think she and her office have done that. i'm trying to figure out, now, i'm a layperson, i'm not a doctor. so maybe there are questions a doctor would have known to ask, some very technical element. but from what i can tell, as a consumer of the news, that we've been told all along, we were told she had the stomach flu. we were told she had fallen and suffered a concussion. and then we were told that she couldn't come and testify, because her doctors had said, no, you need to be here and you need to recover from this concussion. you know, i was talking earlier about the fact that i'm the mother of a 10-year-old boy and i come from texas. i read the nfl stories on concussions. they're serious. you can heal and be perfectly fine, but they're serious and they need to be addressed. then we were told she had something checked on, there's a
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blood clot, we were told she's going into the hospital this morning. >> because when they say the blood clot, they didn't say it was in her head. they just said she had a blood clot. 24 hours later, we learned, thanks to them -- >> i'm going to make a guess at this point, wolf, because i'm not the person who drafted those statements, that sometimes we read a lot into something negative when somebody is speaking in the present tense and assumes that you knew, oh, well, she had a blood clot -- >> there was a lot of speculation, was it the leg, was it someplace else. for 24 hours, we were wondering where that blood clot was. >> but what i'm suggesting is, i don't always think human communication is always a demonstration of conspiracy against it. and i think melinda's right. i think melinda's right, i do think you get to ask questions. i think secretary clinton, more than anyone on the planet understands the responsibility to be transparent, given her responsibilities. and frankly, even if she wasn't in this job, she recognizes the role she plays in public life. >> tough enough to take the
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questions. >> all those conservative pundits speculating she was making it all up so she would haven't to testify, what did you think about all that? >> i mean, i wasn't surprised by it, was my real point. >> doesn't it underline their argument? >> the first moment when i heard that, i thought, conspiracy theorists, start juniyour engin. the reaction wasn't surprising, but neither, the backlash to the backlash was a little exaggerated as well. when you start hearing like tina brown wrote, you know, john bolton has questioned her magnificence, he isn't fit to wipe her floor with his mustache. she's a lot tougher than a lot of people who are so outraged by questions being asked. >> she is a lot tougher. but here's the deal. people like john bolton were not questioning, saying, gosh, could you give us some more information, like maybe melinda had. they were accusing her of faking an illness to avoid responsibility that she takes seriously. that is what is unacceptable, and that's a big piece of a
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problem of what's wrong in our public discourse today. who cares if it's unfair to hillary clinton. she can take it, she's tough. it's inappropriate, it's inpolitic, and frankly, i think it sends the wrong message to every child, every college student, and every person who wants to offer themselves up to public service. >> do you think that it undermines -- if they have legitimate questions, as you said, it's our job to question our politicians. if there are legitimate questions, do you think it undermined maybe the conservative argument, because they came out so early, before there was actually real word of what her condition was, and it was more serious than people originally thought. >> i think that it's not something i was questioning. but, because i know hillary is tough and she's a fighter too, so even though i would never have thought she's scared to testify before congress, no, she's not. but would she rather not, should she decide to run, hand her rivals some are tape of, you know, being grilled on the hill? it crossed the mind of people
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who are democrats and like hillary clinton. it doesn't have been to be someone who hates her. >> that requires so much supposition, so many steps other than, the woman hit her head. and you've got to pay attention, and i guarantee you, she would much rather have been there to testify. by the way, remind your viewers, she has said she will. and she'll come back and do it. and she's told the senate that she'll do that. so no one should think tonight that that's not something that she's said she would do. i guarantee you, she would have much rather have been there on the appointed day at the appointed time to answer those questions. >> doesn't it also raise the question, doesn't it come, where is the line? when you're in public office and you're a public figure, yes, there's going to be more information out there about you, and people want to know more about you, but where is that line? >> this isn't about people wanting more information, this is about people making accusations about the information they had. >> were all of them, though, accusations you are faking it, or wasn't it a little bit of a joke? and it turns out it was a joke
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that was in poor taste, given what we now know, that she -- >> but some of those -- >> you think bolton was joking? i don't. are. >> some of those conservatives really suspected that she was faking. they weren't just joking about it. >> for some of them, i think aheaai heard, at least, a little corner of administratiration in it. >> i didn't get it from bolton or krauthammer. i didn't get that. >> the point of the matter is, when you're a public figure -- >> -- a worthy adversary. >> when you're the secretary of state, if you were a private citizen, you're entitled to all the privacy you want. but if you're the secretary of state, and you're putting out a statement, you know, release the information. it's going to come out anyhow. and you know that. you've been in this business for a while. >> i guess we're really talking about two different issues. you're raising a question of time, how much information. and i think the bigger issue here, and i think what you were talking about, and what you wrote, was really about what people did with the information. and what conclusions they chose to draw. my point is, she's a public
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figure. she has public responsibilities, she should put information out, and she did. >> she's gone through a horrible few weeks. she was sick with a bad stomach flu, she was dehydrated, she fainted and then she hit her head and she had a concussion. we know how serious that is. and then we had a routine mri and they discover a blood clot. that's a dangerous situation. and so let her rest, let her get strong. she's out of the hospital. now, at some point, melinda, i'm sure she will go up, as a private citizen, testify, tell everyone what she knew, what she didn't know, move on, she is a tough lady and we wish her the best. >> what she's been through, what she's been accused of in the past, this is nothing. this is just keeping her -- >> we believe i'm worried about -- the four days not hospital, you know, a blood clot in the head, that's serious stuff. >> we're lucky that she had access to great care and we're lucky that she knew to get the kind of care she needed. >> kiki and melinda, thank you. thank you both so much. still ahead, after a shooting that devastated this community, the children of newtown are getting back -- are
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a civil war far deadlier than anyone realized. kate's here. she's got more on this and some
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of the day's other top stories. pretty disturbing information coming out of syria. >> such astonishing nu ining nut continue to climb. the united nations is now estimating that at least 60,000 people have been killed in syria's almost two-year-old civil war. that's a far higher toll than previously reported. the u.n. data specialists came up with the new figure themselves, rather than relying on numbers from oppositions groups, whose data has varied quite wildly. the u.n. high commissioner for human rights calls the number, quote, shocking and shameful, to say the least. also, survivors of newtown, connecticut -- of the newtown, connecticut, school massacre return to class tomorrow at a new school. the facility in the nearby town of monroe was closed back. 2010, but it's being reopened to serve as the new sandy hook elementary. officials held an open house today. >> the teachers have met this morning. the parents of some of the children have been walking through and other times, we have an open house, as they walk through today, the children are
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coming in. they are so excited to see their teachers, and the students coming in completes the circle. that's what's missing right now, is getting our students back. >> you'll remember sandy hook's principal was among those killed in the massacre. a former principal, who led the school for ten years, is now coming out of retirement to lead the new sandy hook elementary. as congress prepares to take up new gun control legislation, some people are taking steps to buy a firearm now. the fbi says they had a record number of background checks requested last month, nearly 2.8 million, total. it's difficult to know how many sales that led to, since not all sales require a background check, and some people buy more than one gun. and if you want to win $50,000, the federal trade commission has a contest for you. who doesn't? it's offering that reward to anyone who can figure out how to block robo calls. most robo calls that sell things are illegal, but the technology to block them hasn't kept up
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with the robo calls themselves. people have until january 17th to send in their solutions, so get cracking, because i think everyone would agree, it would be a very good thing to end robo call. >> i hate those robo calls. they interrupt, taking a nap -- >> you take a nap? i don't believe that. >> i just hang up the phone right away. hang up the phone. thank you. coming up, we're getting for information about hillary clinton. she's been released from the hospital. her daughter, chelsea, is providing some additional information. stand by for that. also, the fiscal cliff bill may be at the white house, but the division over the vote expected to linger. we're taking a closer look at where the republican leadership is now heading. power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly.
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all right. i want to follow up on the breaking news we've been reporting. the secretary of state, hillary clinton, has been released. she was been discharged from the hospital in new york. her doctors saying they are confident she will make a full recovery. we just got a couple tweets in from her daughter, chelsea clinton, who was seen walking out of the hospital with her mom and with the former former pre. grateful my mom discharged from the hospital and is heading home even more grateful her medical
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team confident she'll make a full recovery. she also tweeted thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff at new york for taking great care of my mom. we're all thrilled that the secretary of state is heading home after four days in the hospital. let' discuss this and more with our cnn contributors, the democratic strategist, form er bush white house secretary, ari fliber. goes without saying, you're thrilled she's headinging home. >> shell see's so cautious, so for her to get out there and say something positive is extremely encoura encouraging. >> she was worried. you're happy as well, i know. >> of course. she's our secretary of state and want everybody in our government to have good health. of course, that's the only thing anybody would wish. >> we wish her only the best. >> i'm going to make a big turn to some of the other big news we were talking about this week. the the fiscal cliff and the vote in the house, ari, first to
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you. one thing that is getting a lot of attention is not just the fact that the vote happened finally, but also where the vote break down ended nup terms of the republican leadership. are we seeing kind of a crack in the united front of house republican leadership? boehner, paul ryan voting in favor of support of the bill, eric cantor and mccarthy voting against it. who was right? who was wrong? >> you're right, you are seeing a crack in the leadership. i remember when the welfare -- signed by bill clinton, every single member of the democratic leadership in the house from then beyond, minority, voted against bill clinton on welfare reform. what's happening inside the republican party right now is the sound of conservatives frustrated because they came to washington to come to spending and they're not able to do so. that's pouring out of republican members that you talk to. and i think that's why you have
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leader mccarthy and leader -- >> eric cantor. >> eric cantor vote the way they voted. and it's that frustration spilling over. now, the one interesting thing is they both waited until the vote hit 128, so i don't think at the end of the day, they tanked the agreement, but they waited to make sure the vote went over the top. >> it's also a difference. it's the smell of sort of pure political ambition and calculation. i think eric cantor is just waiting for john boehner to fail at something and therefore, vote differently than john boehner. marco rubio in the senate is calculating his 2016 primary and thinks there's something there. you know, the problem really is the bigger picture is the democrats are the ones who keep becoming reasonably saving the day, putting the votes over the top. this gop leadership is failing
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the country. it's not just that there's no ko home invasion. there's no strategy or plan to do anything different. john boehner and eric cantor had their chance to actually come up with a more reasonable package and didn't. >> ari, i thought that john boehner showed a little courage there. he was almost -- if you will, going against so many republicans and saying you know what? there aren't a whole lot of spending cut, but the country cannot go over this fiscal cliff because tens of millions of americans could see their taxes going up. he did the right thing in terms of wanting to prek so many. >> at the end of the day, the speaker's job is to be the most reasonable person in the house and the person has to figure out how to move things forward, even if you're not satisfied with everything. that's the burden of being the speaker. you don't have this liberty some
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have to just vote on your own knowledge. there were democrats who voted against the bill. i don't think they did it for pure crass politics or because they might run for something one day. they did it because of ideology. cutting spending is important. wolf, you're right about the speaker, he had a difficult role to play. he played it as best he could. i don't know any republicans that are happy, but we'd be less happy if taxes had gone up on every american. >> i think that's the bottom line. guys, not a perfect bill. a lot of people were not happy with it. >> rarely are. >> president's going to sign it into law pretty soon. thank you. >> still ahead, it looks like something out of a james bond movie. a shocking maneuver for extinguishing a massive boat fire. jeanne moos is next with that amazing video.
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probably with a hose. when a boat is a flame on a little wake in new zealand and there's no hose in sight, this is a sight for sore eyes. >> what are you doing? >> two men doused the flames with the spray from their speedboat. heeden oliver caught it on tape. >> it's crazy. >> and the maneuver was performed not once, but four times. someone called emergency services, but it took 25 minutes for fire trucks to reach the lake and by then, the speedboat had done its trick, impressing even dispatch manager on duty. what do you call that technique they used. >> it call it ingenious. >> online admirers say it was as if david hasselhoff from bay watch were at the wheel or james bond. except in his

The Situation Room
CNN January 2, 2013 1:00pm-4:00pm PST

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